The Top 5 Kenner Batman Forever Toys!
Riddle me this, riddle me that, what’s the best thing to collect if you don’t have a lot of cash? Did that rhyme? Kind of? I guess that’s why Jim Carrey makes a better Riddler than me. Honestly I wish I could present this entire write up in the form of a card-board cut-out, pop-up clue toy review. Sadly though, this is the internet and that’s not possible. What I can and hopefully will do, is share my love of the Kenner Batman Forever toy line with you!
As a toy collector, I understand that we all go through times of want and times of plenty. Sometimes you're buying, sometimes you're flipping. For that reason, allow me to recommend a toy line that is AFFORDABLE and also still made by the all-mighty Kenner.
Yes folks, let me get real with you for a second- Batman Forever is not traditionally a casual or ardent Bat-fan’s first choice when ranking all the films that exist in Bruce Wayne’s universe. Nay, most would argue that it was blasphemous and “had nipples” and all this other rubbish (some of which may have merit but hear me out) Batman Forever is the baby, Batman and Robin is the bathwater. Is that even more confusing? Let me explain, both Batman Forever and Batman and Robin were directed by Joel Schumacher- one of them is bad and one of them is actually surprisingly good. Can you guess which one?
Batman Forever is good! You got it! In my opinion, the movie actually holds up against the entire Batman catalogue and is the standout amongst the Schumacher contributions. It’s well acted, especially byJim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones, and even Val Kilmer delivers a thoughtful, haunted, contemplative version of Bruce Wayne that I personally dig. So we get it, Batman Forever didn’t get quite the same love as ‘89 or the Christopher Nolan trilogy that would follow later- what does that mean for you, the collector?
Let me break it down for you, movies with less love means more readily available merchandise at
reasonable prices! Vintage Star Wars is great but they’re always behind glass and a high price tag. Kenner Batman Forever figures will be in the bin under the table ready and waiting. Grab them while they’re down there! The package designs and color scheme are so perfectly mid-90’s they harken back to some of my favorite times and plaid flannels. I love the blue, green, and bright yellow. I love the design of the Batmobile as well as Bruce Wayne’s suit. I live for Chris O’Donnell as a rebellious street biker in his early twenties (late-teens?) on the lamb from child services. I love all the Riddlers, especially end of movie, gone insane/best version of the suit Riddler! Having said all of that, on to the countdown!
TOP 5 Kenner Batman Forever Toys:
Street Biker Robin
He’s cool, he’s tough, he’s got a yellow bandana wrapped around his head- need I say more?
Everything about this figure from the vest, to the tall black boots screams “Hang out at a lot of biker bars, Bruce?” This figure captures the essence of my favorite Dick Grayson mood ever, if only it had laundry drying action too.
Deluxe Talking Riddler
Instead of describing this one for you I’m just going to copy/paste the description for one I found on eBay:
Get it by Tue, Dec 10 - Tue, Jan 7
• New condition
• 30 day returns - Buyer pays return shipping
BATMAN FOREVER. THE TALKING. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. SORRY NOT SUITABLE FOR FUSSY COLLECTOR.
Hear that, y’all? Not for the fussy collector. Perfect for me though because he’s got my favorite outfit on and two very dope accessories.
Two Face with Turbo Charge Cannon and Good/Evil Coin
This one is not a coin toss- you need it. Tommy Lee Jones was one of the best parts of the movie and without a doubt his iconic make up and wardrobe are represented well in this action figure. Plus you get the Good/Evil Coin which is a must have (if only you could buy that guy’s hearing aid).
Obvi, no duh- it’s got a slick chunky design and light up chassis! I think I might name my first daughter Chassis? Either way, this is my all time favorite Batmobile design.
Transforming Dick Grayson
That ain’t the bat! No sir, it ain’t. It’s a Chris O'Donnell action figure that transforms into Batman’s ever present sidekick and emotional counterpart- Robin. This figure is great because it’s multipurpose. You can take casual Dick Grayson out (just ignore his vague color-changing in cold water face tattoo left over from the mask I assume?) to swing on the ropes with his family (before the second act) and then *BAM* slap a mask, cape, and some gear on him and he’s ready to battle the bad guys!
Here’s the thing folks, Batman Forever Collecting doesn’t just stop at Kenner. There were tons of other companies who had the BF license and released some really sick merch to coincide with the movie release. Keep an eye out for the following at toy shows, garage sales, and eBay. They’re cheap, and not too hard to find.
Honorable Non-Kenner Collectable Mentions
Noteworthy school supplies eraser, pencil sharpener
Who doesn’t want to go back to school in style? As a kid, my parents didn’t always buy me action figures- but they DID buy me school supplies every year, which I suppose is why I’m drawn to collecting things like this as an adult.
Skycaps slammer collection
Pogs out! Did kids say that? Idk but I do know that pogs and specifically slammers in package make a great shelf display!
WB Studios statue set
I own these three statues and treasure them every day. These statues are Detolf material- ‘nuff said.
There are still tons of holy grails out there that I still want. If I had to narrow my wish list down to three? It would look like this:
Bruce Wayne Kenner package art turtleneck painting.
This is still available on eBay, it’s listed at $799. Technically this pushes the purchase into Barge territory. The backstory is that after Michael Keaton was replaced by Val Kilmer as the titular character, Kenner artists had to draw mockups of Kilmer for new product. The turtleneck was already part of Keaton’s looks so it carried over into this painting (used on Kenner packaging) which IMO really captures Bruce Wayne’s wealth and inner-turmoil.
Micro Machines Riddler head
Why don’t I own this yet? I was obsessed with Polly Pocket and other miniature things as a kid so it makes sense that I should own this. Will someone buy it for me?
THE ULTIMATE! Look at that kid on the box, don’t you hate him? Don’t you want to be him?! I do. This is a gorgeous three-tiered Batcave playset filled with detail and complete with an eye popping package. Need it.
Of course it’s always fun to daydream and invent toys you need that don’t exist yet. I call this fantasy collecting. Here are a few Batman Forever toys that I wish Kenner had made/would make (Hey Hasbro? Or whoever has the license? NECA? Randy? Sup?)
Bruce Wayne Bike Garage
With real If-someone-were-to-fix-one-of-these-up-they-could-keep-them-action! Playset includes Social Services vehicle and employee so Dick Grayson can really tell them to hit the road!
Kickboxing Dr. Chase Meridian.
Nicole Kidmann is a TOTALLY underrated BABE in this movie. This figure includes a scale punching bag plus bat painting to hang on the wall and stare at introspectively.
Big Top Playset.
Although a board game version of the Big Top from Batman Forever does already exist (and I own it), I want a Kenner playset version. Giant red and white plastic tent opens up to reveal Gotham City patrons inside cheering on the Flying Graysons. Playset includes acrobat poles and equipment. Figures sold separately.
Sugar and Spice Figures
Two unsung heroines from the film who’s costumes alone warrant 6 inch Kenner figures.
That guy’s hearing aid. I’ve already stated why I need this.
The Kenner Batman Forever toy line is unsullied by the bloat of over production that the Batman and Robin toy line suffered. It’s pure Kenner goodness and fun. It’s also available practically everywhere and ready to be displayed on your shelves. So don’t waste another day of wine and roses, or beer and pizza, go out there and buy a toy today!